Laboratory Fume Hoods

A fume hood is a piece of equipment designed to provide you with protection from the inhalation of toxic material. You should use your fume hood any time you work with chemicals that present an inhalation hazard to you.

Safe work practices when using a fume hood include:

  • Always use your fume hood when working with toxic chemicals you may inhale.
  • Work at least 6 inches back from the front of the hood. A stripe on the bench surface is a good reminder.
  • Elevate large equipment 1 to 2 inches above the working surface of the hood.
  • Do not place your head inside the hood when contaminants are being generated.
  • Do not use the hood as a chemical waste disposal mechanism.
  • Do not store chemicals or apparatus in the hood.
  • Keep the hood sash at the lowest possible position and use the sash as a shield.
  • In general, fume hoods should not be used to work with biological material 

Common findings relevant to the use of laboratory fume hoods:

Fume hood inaccessible: 

Improper airflow in the fume hood or the inability of people to work safely in the fume hood may result in potential injury. Remove all material and equipment that block access to the fume hood.

Fume hood used improperly or used for storage: 

Extra equipment in a fume hood decreases the performance of the fume hood and can cause you to inhale the chemicals you work with. Fume hoods must remain clear of all excess chemicals and equipment. Materials that are not in use for ongoing experiments must be removed.

Fume hood not tested annually: 

Contact EHS at (410) 706-7055 immediately to schedule a fume hood inspection. If the fume hood has failed inspection, all chemical and material hazards must be removed and stored appropriately. Contact Facilities Management at (410) 706-7570 to have the fume hood repaired. Once repaired, contact EHS to have the fume hood recertified before resuming work.